Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Five

One of them was abandoned. Two of them are heart broken. One is in a messy place. One has fallen off the face of the world.

Yet abandonment can prove to show necessary change. Broken hearts can be mended. Messes can be organized. And the gone can be brought back.

Eventually we have to own up to the simplest of facts, we’re all carrying around our chipped shoulders or broken facades, our tattered souls. We can’t go on and on with a porcelain doll’s face replacing our own. Eventually the cracks will begin to grow and the fake’ll give way to the real. The tired. The worn.

We’re not made to live falsely, you know, contrary to which we’ve been made to be. It’s unsustainable, though it may be fun for a bit, it cannot last.

Sooner or later the end will come and the free air breathed in, because the mask is shattered. Sooner or later we’ll discovery that being who we’re made to be is much better than being who we’re wanted to be.

So to the abandoned; are you ever really alone? To the heart broken: is there not one to mend the brokenness? To the messy: isn’t what matters most already taken care of? To the one who’s disappeared: for how long can you be gone and not be you?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Journaled Time

I cannot, or even, claim to know any part of the mind of God or the particular reason he acts how he does and bring what he brings.

            I do know, however, that he is about his own glory (which coincides with my good) and therefore when he does things they are done in paramount necessity and perfect will and timing.

            But that jut it, time.

            Bound so closely to our bonds; woven so inextricably to our hearts; and tied, so very neatly, to our lives. Time is the subtle (at times screaming) reminder that, “We are not as we once were.”

            Time, this slow unstoppable march to our ends from our beginnings making our middles the adventure (and making them flutter with butterflies), when closing our eyes is the worst possible sin.

            For in so doing, we’ll miss it, whatever it is, and relegate our stories to the obituaries and not the feature.

            I don’t not think this is how life ought to be lived, in a half-hearted fashion, no, for what little time we have here we must, because Christ is our King, take hold of all of life and use every small bit for the glory, the same glory God is after, the glory of God.

            Therein is life.

(The picture is of art at Wichita's Final Friday.)

Friday, May 25, 2012


1) Have you ever just wanted to keep driving? You know, away.

2) This was my first week of working just a job. No classes, no homework, just work... I think I'll start a coffee shop with my extra time.

3) Re-reading Harry Potter.

4) I had deja-vu all day on Thursday.

5) The Killers: Sam's Town. Fantastic album. The Horrible Crowes: Elsie. Another fantastic album

6) "Am I more than the sum of the things I have and haven't done." ~Abandon Kansas

7) Come to me you weak, you broken, you messy lives, you weary, you heavy laden; I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

8) This slow unstoppable march to our ends from our beginnings makes our middles the adventure (and makes them flutter with butterflies), the time when closing your eyes, shutting out the outside, is the worst possible sin.

9) Went for a walk. Saw fireflies. Now it's time to capture them!

10) Fight the good fight of faith. Fight to believe. Fight to see Jesus as your only hope. Fight.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Personal Fault

“Come overwhelmed with life. Come with a wandering mind. Come messy…” Paul Miller

When I first read this line I thought of another, “Come with what you do not have and buy what’s undeserved. (Shane and Shane)”

Both struck me at an opportune time. This whole last semester has been both blurry and busy. The final semester of senior year, the changes happening at the church, the homework of every class, and the daunting third try at College Algebra all worked their ways under my skin.

Sleep wasn’t really sleep, if you know what I mean. It was a dark period where I was still tired after I woke up.

In all of this I became rather cynical (more so than normal). Judging others for their shortcomings became easy. Looking down on those of ‘lesser understanding’ was second nature. Being proud of what I know was how I’d act.

Yet conviction comes when you least expect it.

In a conversation with a friend, whom I love, talking about his very personal struggles.

It was just a passing thought in offering some advice, “You speak about how you still love the arrogant despite their sin, pride, but you don’t do that, do you Sam?”

Acting as though I had it altogether is like a vase sitting on the edge of the mantle, just waiting to be nudged off.

My point is this: I’ve not lived the mental Christian life well. The fight in your brain against sin, yea that one. Where you encourage others and, at times, reach to their level.

So, “Come overwhelmed with life. Come with a wandering mind. Come messy…” “Come with what you do not have and buy what’s undeserved.” Because He's love for his people drew Him to the cross.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Remember, “Jesus love me, this I know?”

The exquisitely simple song; it’s been sung by kids since 1861 (read a little more here). Life is busy tossing and turning and coming back around to do it all again. One moment in Nashville the other in Wichita; one thought for the distant future and six thoughts for the present.

You know, the whole, “One step forward and 2 steps back,” mantra.

Getting caught fully in the wash of what’s going on and forgetting what a dear friend once told me, “Your biggest problem is taken care of.”

So, here’s to relaxing while being busy -- remember Jesus loves us this we know. To trusting while feeling devastated – remember Jesus loves you this I know. To having no idea what you’re doing – remember Jesus loves me this I know.

It’s not new, it’s 2000 plus years old.

It’s not safe, but it’s magnificent.

It’s not bought, it’s paid for.

Remember Jesus loves me this I know.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trip Thoughts: Part 2

Could’ve sworn that sign said, "Judas Baptist Church." awwwwwkward.

The only thing begging for my time is an unfinished game of solitaire & a book.

Reminder: never buy a graphic tee, sport a mullet, or have a chester-molester mustache.

I hate being a tourist. But I love traveling. Issue.

Craziest line I've heard so far: "I started smoking heroine 5 years ago... But I only do it every now & again."

Merridees coffee house... Shoot Franklin, TN altogether is like a place I've been to in a dream. Gorgeous. I'd live there.

Southern hospitality? Nah.

I wonder how many broken dreams are in this town?

People are incredibly interesting to me.

Elevator do’s/don’ts means whaaaa?

That awkward moment you get off on the wrong floor and walk into the wrong room. That never happened to me... I mean it could've... Maybe.

"Honey, I'm in the car that's why it's so loud." said the man on his phone next to me at the bar...

Taylor Swift didn't take me up on my coffee offer. Fiddlesticks.

I've got a love triangle going on: Wichita, Nashville, & India... Scotland, Egypt, Germany... I'm in trouble.

Kansas roads- superb
Tennessee roads- wonderful
Oklahoma roads- meh
Arkansas roads- I can't think of a word worse than, "absolutely-terrible-and-deplorable."

Might as well work on my left arm tan while I'm driving.

I'm in a parking lot on I-40. Going nowhere. For the second time. Both times in Arkansas... Makes sense.

Merging seems to be a tricky task in this strange land.

I'm glad Wichita has more than 7 stoplights.

Shell & Subway are the saviors for most tiny Arkansas towns

Tulsa, get a life.

Wichita is like a tiny Nashville. & Without all the money.

Returning has been like a bad break-up. Fooie.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vacation Time

... O wait I'm not going to Meads, I'm going to Nashville. Stop. Turn around.

Deep V's are for comfort - and scaring people in Arkansas.

O that deer/hawk/turtle/raccoon/opossum/armadillo is real dead.

Once again, left Kansas & no one understands sarcasm... Great.

Stupid change-only tolls.

65mph feels like crawling.

Every black trash bag by the side of the road I instantly think contains a body.

The only time you can eat junk food for lunch and still feel okay about yourself afterward is on a road trip.

What's a Muskogee?

If I ignore the speed limit signs, like purposefully look away, is it the same as not seeing it?

I'll assume Toad Suck Park is aptly named - cause it's more fun that way.

Drivers in Arkansas should really learn the 'slower drivers stay to the right' rule.

Memphis has a giant pyramid. Can Wichita get one too?

Tennessee driving rule #1: don't use your speedometer or cruse control and ignore the speed limit signs.

One word: Gorgeous

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Mother's Day

What my mother means to me:








My mom is an amazing woman. While working a professional job saving lives, she raised two kids. She put up with the antics of my dad (and mine, ‘cause raising a boy is straight sanctification I assume) and did so in a way that bespeaks godly, biblical submission to his authority. (That is not to say my upbringing was in any way chauvinistic. It is to say my dad was/is the spiritual leader.)

Mother’s day, the day to celebrate what mom has done for her kids.

For protecting her kids like a bear.

For being the only one to console a broken heart.

For being the nurse to fix scrapped knees.

For saving tiny shoes and old pictures.

For the correction little sinners need.

For the tears at our graduations and awards.

For the life of love given to another.

 Yet, some have lost their mom. Whether from the slow wear of time, cancer, or suddenness of a car wreck she won’t be around this Sunday. Indeed, eventually, most of us will face the time where we bid our final goodbye and try to remember her as she was.

So Mother’s Day might as well be another way to say unconditional-love-care-support-gentleness-kindness-and-protection Day -- for all. The druggy on the street corner, the friends who have lost her, the kids who know her, and everyone else, ‘cause mom was always there for me and what better way to celebrate who my mom is than to imitate her?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strangely Stunning

I have one annoying final left. It’s the one I’ve taken before (x2). Failing sucks.

I’m fairly sure people are made to be good at what they’re god at. My sister can do science and math without paper. But if I don’t have paper (or my phone) I’m almost worthless (if you don’t see me write it down, it’s not gonna happen.)

The brain amazes me.

My earth science class was full of ‘em. Some folks in there could tell you what the answer to question seven on test #2 was, while others had a terrible time trying to figure out how many 500 year floods could occur in 500 years.

Yet we all exist together, at the same time, interacting and laughing (and hating class) with each other. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

All our diversity and all our oddities and all the weird people (‘i’ before ‘e’ -- weird, right?) all together. Sounds like a mess -- cause it is.

So, while I write this on a break from Algebra homework and sit in Meads with all the characters inside and outside, it’s easy to say (while NEEDTOBREATHE pumps into my ears), “We are who God has made us, and is making us, to be.” (Which is no excuse to be lazy or dumb, cause shoot, God’s not lazy or dumb.)

Practically all us uniquely strange people are going to step on each other’s toes, break each other’s hearts, try to save some face, and do it all again.

A neat little spiral, which ought to lead us to one thing, one blaringly stunning perfect truth, Jesus saves us strangely sinful people.

Okay, now back to algebra...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mid-Finals Thoughts (Spring '12)

Finals are here… again.

So! Here are mid-finals thoughts:

1) I’m naturally a cynic, but this time of year, I’m a die-hard the-world-is-dark-and-I-want-to-sleep-and-everyone-to-go-away cynic. Nifty, right?

2) Finals diet: comfort food, comfort drink, comfort food, comfort drink… repeat.

3) My two busiest weekends at the church fell during my two busiest weeks of school. Conspiracy.

4) I shall pass College Algebra, or I shall die.

5) I want to go to Nashville.

6) Jack White album, it’s beautiful. ‘Nough said.

7) My blood will run black with coffee by the end of the week.

8) Wait, you get awards for loving to talk? Take that every-teacher-who-said-I-talked-too-much-in-elementary-school.

9) Is it socially acceptable to fall asleep in public places only to be woken up by the loudness of your own snoring? Cause I don’t do that… my friend does.

10) This Friday night as I’m falling asleep, I’m going to turn my phone off. You know like completely and totally off. Then I’m gonna wake up on July 4th.


11) My foot is asleep.

A Mission

What’s it like to not see? To be blind.

Most of us, physically speaking, have no concept or barring on what it’d be like to be blind. We open our eyes in the morning and go about our day, with no realization of what it could be like to not see the sun, the clouds, or the birds who chirp in the trees.

Spiritual, however, we all know what it’s like to not see.

We all once, there was a time, we can remember it now, vivid for some, distant for others, but the memory is there and for some it is bitter; we all know what it’s like to not know Jesus as Savior.

To be blind to the beautifully impactful truth that Christ is King and the old us is not the current us or will it be the new us. That, my friends, is a heartbreak thing.

Yet, some of us now know what it is to see.

To wake up and see the vibrant reality of Jesus being, for now and always, the Lord of our lives, the Conqueror of our graves, and the Redeemer desperately needed.

To know there is a reigning victorious King, and to know him like a brother.

Both of these, though vastly different are stark realities.

There are the blind and there is the seeing in every day of life. We converse with them; we shake their hands.

Yet to both, the Gospel, the necessary truth of Jesus being Lord is the communiqué what is most beautiful.

And this, I believe, is the great dilemma of the Christian life: how do we talk about Jesus as what is most desperately needed by all people, both blind and seeing?

It’s a question which every believer must wrestle with, how do I do this, this thing called mission?

Because we can't, as I saw some recently do, leave a tract as our tip and call that 'mission.' That's not mission, it's mean. But we also can't over spiritualize everything because then your still just a jerk...

There's a balance, like there is in most things.

Too much is terrible, not enough is damning (just as much as too much); the middle, the middle however is where we, I would say, legitimately care for people (all of them) and after getting to know them for who they are, then we talk about Jesus. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Friend who Died.

5 years.

Seems like too much time and not enough time… at the same time.

It was a dreary day, a misty May morning. The whole morning felt off to me, like a ship about to be engulfed by a massive wave. How was I to know what was headed my way - our way?

I could see the look in our substitute Bible-teacher’s face as the office runner whispered in her ear. Her shoulders fell. Her eyes closed. Her lips went tight.

She asked for our attention. And spoke the words, which were the wave, the ones which cause my tiny boat to sink.

“He’s been in a wreck,” she said. “They don’t know if he’ll make it,” she finished.

10-minute break came. We stood around, not daring to hope, but not tempting despair. Unable to consider what might be. I hid in the Chemistry lab’s office, where the teacher let me cry.

The news came. I could think of no one else I’d rather of heard it from than Mr. Trombold, my Chemistry teacher.

“He didn’t make it,” he said, “He passed away.”

Tears came freely and we, as a class, hugged and wept and walked around not sure what to do…

My dad would tell you I changed that day. That in one son’s death another son came fully to life. Indeed I can look back five years and see that wave, the one, which sunk my boat, actually changed its course.

I won’t speculate on the reason God does what he does, other than his own glory. I can’t tell you he kills one and lets another live to make one stronger. Nor will I even claim to be strong, you see he was a lot stronger than me.

But now, now I cannot say I’m sorry for his death… I can say I’m thankful because it’s helped make me who I am. To his dad I said, “Thank you for willingly, and unknowingly, sacrificing your son so that I would preach Jesus.”

Death, you see, has lost its sting.